What makes “The Lesson” Lierature
In the short story “The Lesson” by Toni Cade Bambara there is various examples of the functions of literature. It interprets the human condition by showing us the necessity of money. Money is always an important essential in life. Also, it instructs the human behavior by demonstrating of the importance of education. Ms. Monroe takes her time to educate these rude children, because she thinks it’s her duty. It also gives pleasure by giving me a sense of hope for the children.
The text shows the human condition through the necessity of money. For example, right here shows us the realities of money when it says “what things cost and what our parents make and how much goes for rent and how money ain’t divided right in this country”.(37) The children compare the 1000 dollar boat to how the 1ooo dollars could feed them all together for a year. Ms. Monroe encourages them to think about the value of money when she says, “Imagine for a minute what kind of society it is in which some people can spend on a toy what it would cost to feed a family of six or seven” (178).
I agree with the children that the price for toys is unbelievable and outrageous. The value of money depends on if you’re poor or rich. What the poor use money for is stuff like food and rent and 1 dollar boats you make yourself; Unlike the rich who gets to use money for luxuries like 1000 boats and fur coats. For the children it’s all about social standing and “where we are is who we are” (162). Money is a necessity whether you’re rich or poor.
The human behavior on the importance of education is throughout the short story. For example it says, “It was only right that she should take the responsibility for the young ones education” shows how Ms. Monroe demonstrates the importance of education. I think because they have someone like Ms. Monroe in their lives they should endure all they can. It an amazing opportunity that she gives so they can extend their education of the values of life and that right there gives me hope for all children. In hopes that there is someone in every child’s surroundings that pushes the importance of education on them like she does.
The lesson gives pleasure to me by showing me that there’s hope for children and keeps me interested in the text. When the children makes rude comments and how they play around with each other is what keeps me interested. Ms. Monroe trying to teach them the value of money and her trying to educate them is what gives me hope. I hope children strive for what’s out there for them and don’t just stick to their surroundings whether it’s the slums or anywhere else because there is always bigger and better for them.
The Story gives me hope the children get what Ms. Monroe trying to educate them. Like how when Ms. Monroe “lights up like someone goosed her” because Sugar gives her input on what she thought shows me that there is hope for these children (176). That’s also shows Ms. Monroe having hope for these kids and encouraging them to think outside the box. Throughout the whole text there are plenty of examples of the function of literature. The human condition improves for the rude and under privileged children through education.